Lymphatic Care Services refers to the umbrella of  Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) techniques and services that are used to address swelling disorders and/or congestion that occurs within the lymphatic system of the body.  MLD is a very gentle manual treatment that improves the function of the lymphatic system throughout the body. In the 1930s the techniques of MLD were first introduced by Dr. Emil Vodder, PhD, MT from Denmark. MLD is becoming widely recognized in the United States as a treatment for many pathologies including post surgical swelling,post cancer treatment swelling, primary and secondary lymphedema, post traumatic edema (e.g., sports injuries), migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. MLD is further used to promote general relaxation and for cleansing (detoxification) of the skin and superficial fascia. In lymphedema therapy MLD is used to reroute the lymph flow from congested areas into healthy lymph vessels, which drain into the venous circulation thereby reducing swelling.

MLD is a highly effective treatment for managing and lowering blood pressure as well as increasing low blood pressure levels.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is well recognized as a vascular compression therapy and as  a natural, soothing and stress free way to aid in the elimination of metabolic wastes and aid in the stimulation of  the immune system.

The lymphatic system is an important part of the circulatory system. Lymphatic vessels and arteries and veins are intertwined throughout the body although lymphatic vessels tend to be much smaller in diameter than the other vessels.  The lymphatic system works in parallel with the venous system helping to remove fluid from the interstitial body spaces and ultimately return that fluid to the heart and lungs. The lymphatic system aids the body's absorption of nutrients and helps to remove waste from the body's tissues. The lymph, which is formed as soon as fluid passes from the interstitium into the lymph collector tubules, contains waste products such as viruses, bacteria, cancers and other toxins. These particulates get filtered out of the lymph by the lymph nodes as this fluid passes through the system into deeper lymphatic vessels. The waste material eventually makes it way to the kidneys and the bowels to be eliminated from the body while the cleaned lymph is returned to the blood supply. The lymph nodes also assist the spleen and the bones in producing new white blood cells.

How does lymphatic drainage reduce high blood pressure?


There is a specific bodily process whereby cellular waste is eliminated from the blood stream. The body's waste management system is a pressurized system which operates under a pressured force called arterial pressure. This arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells' interstitial spaces to affect their exchange with the waste that the cells have produced. In this process, the plasma, or interstitial fluid filled with toxic waste, is collected into tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymphatic system to be detoxified. If the body or lymphatic system has any congestion or sluggishness (slow fluid transport) this can create a condition where the arterial pressure has to increase (higher blood pressure) to force the blood through the cleansing process - thereby impacting overall body blood pressure.  MLD aids the lymphatic system's ability to absorb fluid from the interstitium into the lymphatic tubules resulting in an eventual decrease in arterial (blood) pressure.  This decrease can usually be measured after the completion of just one session.

Temple Stewart and Joan Woods completed the Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Therapy course in Richmond, VA  November 2010, taught by Carmen Thompson of Lymphatic Care Specialists, LLC.  This training allows both therapists to perform MLD protocols on healthy lymphedema-free individuals who choose to receive MLD for purposes of health maintenance.   Joan Woods is additionally a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and is trained to work with a wide range of swelling disorders.